County Championship Rules

Discussion about all aspects of the ECF County Championships.
Andrew Wainwright
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County Championship Rules

Post by Andrew Wainwright » Thu Sep 12, 2013 6:16 pm

Can anyone please direct me towards the County Championship Rules?

I am particularly keen to understand:

1. how juniors are graded (i.e. can they automatically play in the u100s if they have no ECF grade)?

2. do all players have to be ECF members? If yes, at what level?

3. does anyone know how the arrangements for the NCCU preliminary stages will be agreed, e.g. if there are just two teams, such as Yorkshire and Lancashire, then how is it determined where the fixture will be played and when?

Many thanks

Andy

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IM Jack Rudd
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Re: County Championship Rules

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Thu Sep 12, 2013 6:32 pm

For the national stages only, the following rules apply:

1. All ungraded players must be cleared in advance by the Controller. It is very likely that a junior with no grading history would be cleared to play in the u100s.

2. All players must be members at at least Bronze level.

For the regional stages, you would have to contact the relevant union.

Andrew Wainwright
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Re: County Championship Rules

Post by Andrew Wainwright » Thu Sep 12, 2013 6:50 pm

Cheers Jack.

Who is the Controller, or is that still to be decided?

Shame about Juniors who are not strong enough for the u120s that this rule means they can not take part.

I know that Yorkshire are struggling for an u100 team this season and I was thinking of offering to help out with a largely ungraded junior team, but this kind of throws a spanner in the works.

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IM Jack Rudd
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Re: County Championship Rules

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Thu Sep 12, 2013 7:10 pm

Andrew Wainwright wrote: Who is the Controller, or is that still to be decided?
Still to be decided; the appointment is made by the Director of Home Chess.
Shame about Juniors who are not strong enough for the u120s that this rule means they can not take part.
They can, provided they get clearance from the Controller.

Richard Haddrell

Re: County Championship Rules

Post by Richard Haddrell » Sat Dec 28, 2013 10:03 am

The ECF's 2013-14 Rules went to the Union Controllers three days ago. There's some brief commentary, with a link to the text, at http://www.sccu.ndo.co.uk/bcf.htm.

Mick Norris
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Re: County Championship Rules

Post by Mick Norris » Sat Dec 28, 2013 10:51 am

Andrew Wainwright wrote:Can anyone please direct me towards the County Championship Rules?

I am particularly keen to understand:

1. how juniors are graded (i.e. can they automatically play in the u100s if they have no ECF grade)?

2. do all players have to be ECF members? If yes, at what level?

3. does anyone know how the arrangements for the NCCU preliminary stages will be agreed, e.g. if there are just two teams, such as Yorkshire and Lancashire, then how is it determined where the fixture will be played and when?

Many thanks

Andy
Andy

All the NCCU info is here
http://www.nccu.org.uk/county-chess/
Any postings on here represent my personal views and should not be taken as representative of the Manchester Chess Federation www.manchesterchess.co.uk

MartinCarpenter
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Re: County Championship Rules

Post by MartinCarpenter » Sat Dec 28, 2013 9:10 pm

I've not been directly involved in organising any of the Yorks - Lancashire matches but, investigations into jamboree ideas aside, it has always seemed slightly ad hoc to me. Seemingly just a matter of agreeing a time/venue/number of players between the captains. I certainly can't remember ever seeing a match date published very far in advance.

Obviously it'll be different in the U160's when there's more than the two counties involved.

Kevin Williamson
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Re: County Championship Rules

Post by Kevin Williamson » Sun Feb 02, 2014 11:08 pm

The EACU first teams played rounds 3 & 4 (of 6) of our competition today at Newmarket. The captains were asked to discuss which nominations we should request for the Open, Minor Counties and u180 championships at the national stages.

The usual process would be that the first placed team is given the option of playing in the Open. The next two in the Minor Counties and 4th place goes into the u180. Until last season the offered places could be declined without penalty. I do appreciate that in those circumstances a re-draw may be necessary, and that is obviously not desirable.

This season, a new rule has been introduced, given below (although the December deadline has been extended) with the idea of carrying out the draw at the February 4NCL weekend:

D1.2. The Controller will ask the Union Controller to specify the number of nominations made under Rules B2 and B3 that the Union wishes to make for each section of the Final Stage in December. The draw for the Final Stage will be based upon these numbers. A Union requesting more nominations for the draw than it is able to fill at the end of the Union Stage will be fined £100 for each unfilled nomination.

Not to mention the additional fine for the offending county:

D4.2. Should any County, having been nominated by its Union for the Final Stage of any of the Championships and having accepted such nomination in accordance with Section B, default any match, or any game in a match, it shall be required to reimburse such of its opponent’s reasonable expenses incurred as the Controller shall determine; and unless the Controller decides otherwise shall also pay a fine of £10 per game defaulted or £100 per match defaulted, whichever is less; such fines being payable to the English Chess Federation.

This leaves the captains and the EACU controller in a difficult situation. The captains have to decide which, if any, of the competitions we are prepared to play in (and I think the 4 captains today had 4 different views on that), and the controller has to make a decision applicable to all of us, all before our qualification competition is finished. Any nomination not accepted will incur fines of £200. This results in a natural tendency to ‘play safe’ and choose not to participate in those events where there is a risk of not raising a team.

I think the EACU are unique in having one tournament to determine the qualifiers for three separate events, but I wonder if any other Counties / Unions are experiencing the same dilemma.

Alex Holowczak
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Re: County Championship Rules

Post by Alex Holowczak » Mon Feb 03, 2014 10:49 am

Kevin Williamson wrote:This results in a natural tendency to ‘play safe’ and choose not to participate in those events where there is a risk of not raising a team.
Excellent - that was precisely the intention of the rulechange.
Kevin Williamson wrote:I think the EACU are unique in having one tournament to determine the qualifiers for three separate events, but I wonder if any other Counties / Unions are experiencing the same dilemma.
I think two Unions have one qualifier acting as a qualifier for two sections. The MCCU and SCCU's Open qualifier qualifies teams for the Open and Minor.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: County Championship Rules

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon Feb 03, 2014 10:59 am

Kevin Williamson wrote: The captains have to decide which, if any, of the competitions we are prepared to play in (and I think the 4 captains today had 4 different views on that), and the controller has to make a decision applicable to all of us, all before our qualification competition is finished.
It would be more rational for the ECF to wait until the qualification tournaments had been completed before seeking entries to the National Competition. Why the desperate hurry? That particularly applies where a county might enter either the Minor Counties or the U-180, but not both.
Kevin Williamson wrote: I think the EACU are unique in having one tournament to determine the qualifiers for three separate events, but I wonder if any other Counties / Unions are experiencing the same dilemma.
The WECU run just the one competition and usually award the National places by request. The NCCU competition for Open teams is just a match between Lancs and Yorks.

Make life easier for the ECF, just don't enter.

Alex Holowczak
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Re: County Championship Rules

Post by Alex Holowczak » Mon Feb 03, 2014 11:05 am

Roger de Coverly wrote:It would be more rational for the ECF to wait until the qualification tournaments had been completed before seeking entries to the National Competition. Why the desperate hurry?
It doesn't happen very often, but I agree with you.

Why the desperate hurry? There isn't one. The draw has to be made in January or February, and this is a skeleton draw, of the nature M1 v S2, E1 v M2 etc. I've been told what the reason for this is by the Unions, but I don't think it's a very good reason. However, Council put the rule there, and so the Director can't change it until Council agrees with him.

The skeleton draw was made in January last year, but it appears that some Unions have taken a more structured approach to nomination requests this year, which again, was designed to help prevent the problem of defaults.

Kevin Williamson
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Re: County Championship Rules

Post by Kevin Williamson » Mon Feb 03, 2014 11:16 am

Alex Holowczak wrote:
Roger de Coverly wrote:It would be more rational for the ECF to wait until the qualification tournaments had been completed before seeking entries to the National Competition. Why the desperate hurry?
It doesn't happen very often, but I agree with you.

Why the desperate hurry? There isn't one. The draw has to be made in January or February, and this is a skeleton draw, of the nature M1 v S2, E1 v M2 etc. I've been told what the reason for this is by the Unions, but I don't think it's a very good reason. However, Council put the rule there, and so the Director can't change it until Council agrees with him.

The skeleton draw was made in January last year, but it appears that some Unions have taken a more structured approach to nomination requests this year, which again, was designed to help prevent the problem of defaults.
I’ve never found pairings such as E1 v M2, published months ahead of the match, particularly helpful. Identity of the teams isn’t usually known until much later and the preparations really only begin once the national controller sends out the captains’ details when all the places are filled.

I would favour the draw being made once all the qualifiers are known and nominations accepted/declined, but realise that the officials are bound by the rules!

For my own part, Beds are certain to finish 4th so our only decision is to play in the u180 or not, but at least that reduces the choices for the other 3 counties.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: County Championship Rules

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon Feb 03, 2014 11:38 am

Kevin Williamson wrote: I would favour the draw being made once all the qualifiers are known and nominations accepted/declined, but realise that the officials are bound by the rules!
Unions in particular have the power to put forward motions to the ECF changing the rules. If a sizeable minority of counties have places in the National Stages by their own decision, not publishing pairings until all the entries are known is a more rational solution than imposing financial penalties.

Mick Norris
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Re: County Championship Rules

Post by Mick Norris » Mon Feb 03, 2014 12:01 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote:
Roger de Coverly wrote:It would be more rational for the ECF to wait until the qualification tournaments had been completed before seeking entries to the National Competition. Why the desperate hurry?
It doesn't happen very often, but I agree with you.

Why the desperate hurry? There isn't one. The draw has to be made in January or February, and this is a skeleton draw, of the nature M1 v S2, E1 v M2 etc. I've been told what the reason for this is by the Unions, but I don't think it's a very good reason. However, Council put the rule there, and so the Director can't change it until Council agrees with him.
Are you going to put forward a rule change to move the draw?

What is the latest practical date for the draw, given that venues need to be booked?
Any postings on here represent my personal views and should not be taken as representative of the Manchester Chess Federation www.manchesterchess.co.uk

Alex Holowczak
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Re: County Championship Rules

Post by Alex Holowczak » Mon Feb 03, 2014 12:06 pm

Mick Norris wrote:Are you going to put forward a rule change to move the draw?
No, because when I discussed it with the Union Representatives when the increased-fine rulechange was made, it was clear that there was very little appetite for it. If you're telling me that they were wrong, then I will consider putting in such a change.
Mick Norris wrote:What is the latest practical date for the draw, given that venues need to be booked?
Not quite sure what your question is.

In 2014, the draw is being done, as Kevin says, at the next 4NCL weekend.

Relating to the possible change, the Unions must nominate by 31st March. The Preliminary Round is no more four weeks later. There would need to be a very quick turnaround of the draw, but clearly, that's the window in which we'd have to do it. Presumably the latest practical date to publish the draw would be the first weekend after 31st March.

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